Dirty engine's second coolant filter (NAPA 4070)

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6,773
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
This engine has been flushed twice for 6 hours with citric acid, and continues to do this. This is for the crowd that think a rusty engine can just be treated by flushing with a garden hose and pretending the problem goes away. This particular engine feeds the coolant filter from the block drains. Anything, sink or swim, is going to end up going in here. I drilled out the restrictor on the new filter that replaced this one to get a little more velocity through those hoses to more easily catch this stuff. Exit is plumbed directly to the water pump, so I don't want velocity and suction to be so much that it can pull stuff through the media or disturb the sediment resting at the bottom. Entry hoses are 1/2", and exit hose is 5/8" to match the water pump inlet. Very capable of going to suction if not careful. From the looks of the filter media, it seems most if the sediment falls out of the coolant and finds the filter canister a good place to settle more than gets caught in the filter media. The pleats were not torn. I forced them apart to get a good look at the trash in there.

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1,804
Location
San Antonio, TX
Eww. I always wanted to put a coolant filter on all my engines but I never do it. I helped a friend replace a small rubber cap on a radiator and when I took it off it was filled with sand.
 
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274
Location
NY
Fill the engine with Evaporust (I eliminated the radiator from this to save product) and let it sit as long as possible. A few days at least. Bar none the best pour in cooling system cleaning solution available.
 
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10,702
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Keep doing what you're doing-my F-450 7.3 was a LOT worse than that! puke Mine was more silica (looking like sand) than rust, but as long as you're using good antifreeze, it'll still get clean eventually (I'm on my 4th or 5th coolant filter, last couple were pretty clean).
 
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2,176
Location
South Carolina
Wouldn't vinegar work? Cheaper than citric acid? Never had an engine look that bad. I guess in FL people don't think antifreeze is necessary and use tap water.
 

DoubleWasp

Thread starter
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6,773
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Originally Posted by ka9mnx
Wouldn't vinegar work? Cheaper than citric acid? Never had an engine look that bad. I guess in FL people don't think antifreeze is necessary and use tap water.
You hit the nail right on the head. The engine in question is a GM 454 marine engine with a closed cooling system. The engine and exhaust manifolds are cooled by engine coolant, and not external water. This engine at one point rust sludged so bad that the brass tubes in it's heat exchanger fractured. Bottom of the heat exchanger tank had at least 3 inches of solid rust sludge. All drain points had to be poked open with a screwdriver. This filter came out a lot better than the first one, so going to just let the filters keep doing their job. I've done vinegar flushes and citric acid flushes. Vinegar is not in the same league as citric acid. Not even close.
 

DoubleWasp

Thread starter
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6,773
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Yes, coolant filters exist. Not necessary for the average vehicle, but great for dirty or contaminated cooling systems. Especially neglected systems, or new vehicles that suffer issues with residual casting sand. Considered nearly mandatory for certain engines known to be particularly vulnerable to cooling system contamination. Powerstroke 6.0, for example. Studies have shown that even on a new and properly maintained engine that water pump life is nearly tripled. I like to use them on any engine where the water pump is particularly difficult or expensive to change.
 
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4,234
Location
Central Maryland
Originally Posted by DoubleWasp
Studies have shown that even on a new and properly maintained engine that water pump life is nearly tripled. I like to use them on any engine where the water pump is particularly difficult or expensive to change.
Interesting. I recall discussion here that coolant additives don't add to water pump life because the bearings are behind a seal. Assuming the seal is intact, the bearing will last as long as its design and quality allow, the reasoning went, no matter what fluid was on the other side. (And if the seal is not intact, it's time for a new water pump, even if the coolant condition is pristine). I assume there are limits here, such as sludge physically impairing the impeller, but when you say triple the life, we're probably talking about normal versus ideal. So that leaves the seal itself. Is it harmed by the condition of the coolant? Or could be helped? If helped, that would be an argument that additives could indeed play a role in extending pump life.
 

DoubleWasp

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6,773
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Fort Lauderdale, FL
Two factors involved may be that there are definitely water pumps without double sealed bearings, and the possibility particulates can reduce seal life. I have seen pumps where all of the ball bearings in the bearing were completely visible from the interior of the pump body.
 
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4,234
Location
Central Maryland
Originally Posted by DoubleWasp
Two factors involved may be that there are definitely water pumps without double sealed bearings, and the possibility particulates can reduce seal life. I have seen pumps where all of the ball bearings in the bearing were completely visible from the interior of the pump body.
Well, that does complicate matters a bit. Back in the day (1980's?), I got a lifetime warranty on a Ford small block water pump as long as I bought a pump lubricant additive with it. It looked like milk going in. Last water pump I bought (for the Dakota) I asked about the pump lubricant, the young guys at the counter said "huh?" the old guy came around and found it hidden behind some other inventory. Maybe it works great, I'm still running that water pump. Or maybe it was just wasted money. (Note, I am not talking about water pump grease as used on old Flathead engines.)
 
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